What is Section 504?

My daughter has ADHD and is struggling in school.  When she is required to take a test, she’s unable to stay focused enough to complete it in the same time as her peers resulting in incomplete tests and failure although she knows the material.   She was referred to the Committee on Special Education and they concluded that she wasn’t a student who required special education services.  They told me that she may qualify for a Section 504 plan.  What is Section 504 and how will it help my child?

 

Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (commonly referred to as Section 504) is a federal law designed to protect the rights of individuals with disabilities and prohibits discrimination on the basis of a disability in programs and activities that receive federal financial assistance.  Federally funded programs and activities include but aren’t limited to public schools, colleges, universities, and state and local education agencies.  To qualify for protection under Section 504, a student must have a disability and that disability must limit one or more major life functions.  These functions include such things as caring for one’s self, performing manual tasks, walking, seeing, speaking, breathing, learning, working, eating, lifting, bending, reading, concentrating, thinking, communicating, and more.  Section 504 is enforced by the U. S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights.

 

A Section 504 Plan is helpful for those students who don’t qualify for services under IDEA but need assistance to “level the playing field” or to otherwise eliminate barriers to allow students with disabilities access to the same activities and programs as their non-disabled peers.

 

Check out these HVSEPC Section 504 Resources

To download the SEPC Section 504 Quick Tips handout – CLICK HERE

 

To download the National Center for Learning Disabilities’ IDEA and Section 504 comparison chart, excerpted from Parent Advocacy Brief: Understanding the Americans with Disability Act Amendments Act and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act – CLICK HERE

 

Other Web Resources:
Parent Advocacy Brief: Understanding the Americans with Disability Act Amendments Act and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act .  This webpage is a useful parent advocacy brief provided by The National Center for Learning Disabilities, Inc. (www.ncld.org) describing the differences between IDEA and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act.

 

Frequently Asked Questions About Section 504 and the Education of Children with Disabilities.  This webpage is provides questions and answers pertaining to the interrelationship of IDEA and Section 504; students protected under Section 504; evaluation; placement; procedural safeguards; and terminology provided by the U. S. Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights (www.ed.gov).